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View Diary: Another of the military's sexual assault prevention officers investigated for sexual assault (83 comments)

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  •  They need to be trained in civil law... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, legendmn, DSPS owl

    and then prosecuted in civilian courts when they break it.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Wed May 15, 2013 at 11:42:34 AM PDT

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    •  The military courts are adequate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      The problem is that we need to get rid of commanders acting as gatekeepers on the way to trials and throwing the cases out. That is a poor substitute for the district attorney in the civilian courts, and is a relic of a bygone era when military necessity trumped all.

       

      “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” - Anais Nin

      by legendmn on Wed May 15, 2013 at 12:40:45 PM PDT

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      •  I think the military court system has proven (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        beyond a doubt that they are not adequate. This won't get better until sexual abuse cases are taken completely out of their hands.

        This is nothing new and it's only getting worse...
        worse by the minute from the looks of it.

        They've had their chance and failed.

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Wed May 15, 2013 at 12:51:54 PM PDT

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        •  you say the military court system isnt adequate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          legendmn

          beyond a doubt?

          So I ask, compared to the civilian system:

          what kind of cases get prosecuted in both systems? (e.g. who prosecutes "date rape" or sexual assaults with intoxication of the victim?)
          what are the convictions rates in both systems, by offense type?
          what programs are available for alleged victims in both systems?
          what are the average sentences in each system by offense type?
          (on this one, I'm fully prepared that the military may be lighter--I'm in the system and I think often the sentences universally are lighter than I'd expect much of the time)

          I am not proposing that all is hunky dory, but I keep seeing folks saying the military court system is inadequate, and yet I do not see any evidence that civilian courts take more cases to trial, or that they do better as far as conviction when compared by case type to the military.

          I know that the military takes cases to trial the civilians pass on all of the time.  I've yet to come across a case, involving a military accused, that the civilian community DOES take.  I know obviously it happens, but I've not personally seen it in ten years of doing military criminal law.

          I've seen the reverse dozens of times.

          I suppose if the argument is that there is no court system in the country that is adequate, that could be a fair point, but that doesn't seem to be the point being made, it's that the military system is particularly inadequate, and I just don't see it compared to civilian courts.

          •  Please see: (0+ / 0-)

            "Tailhook Scandal" 1991

            Time to get that comparison...long past due.

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:48:00 PM PDT

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            •  that's something that is 22 years ago (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              legendmn

              I can't count the number of ways the military justice system has fundamentally changed since then.  Not simply on sexual assault, but across the board.  The MREs are different, the punitive articles many of them are different, some gone, some added, the emphasis on criminal law is different.

              If that's your starting point, then the military has improved astronomically.

              I return to my questions about military v. civilian.
              Who do you believe does it better and why?

              •  I'm talking about sexual abuse cases. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                legendmn

                The military has proven beyond doubt, that they either don't see it as a problem, or that they're inept at prosecuting the abuse. (I suspect the former) 22 years since Tailhook and still, they FAIL. That's obvious cause for taking those cases out of the hands of the DoD.

                Obviously you have a personal interest and I'm not trying to offend you. As the widow of a vet, I have the greatest respect for the military...just not when it comes to their cavalier attitudes on sexual abuse in the ranks. As the mother of two daughter, I think too many women (primarily, but not exclusively women) are being sexually assaulted with no recourse.

                Almost anything would be preferable to the status quo.

                "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                by Sybil Liberty on Wed May 15, 2013 at 05:36:03 PM PDT

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                •  how so (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  legendmn

                  you can't just say proven beyond a doubt, what proves it exactly?

                  We've done the following things in the last 6 years or so:

                  Established military victim advocates for every unit

                  Established civilian victim advocates at every base

                  Conduct monthly reviews at the senior base commander level of every reported sexual assault

                  I can absolutely tell you that the military often takes cases that the civilian world turns down, and that we take a lot more cases to trial now then we did in the early to mid 2000s.  Cases that I got dismissed early as a young defense counsel are now cases that go to trial now that I am on the government side.

                  There is annual training on sexual assault

                  The recruits get additional training

                  Many of the training installations have gotten rid of giving recruits off-post passes (pass + alcohol equaled a lot of intoxicated victims that got taken advantage of).

                  The army has introduced special victim prosecutors at most large basis who are talented and who do nothing but prosecute sexual assault cases

                  They've introduced high quality civilian experts, career prosecutors with 1000s of sexual assault cases under their belt to train prosecutors

                  So what more do you think needs to be done on the military court/justice side?

                •  as far as inept at prosecuting (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  legendmn

                  I ask again, what are the rates in the civilian world?

                  Do you think civilian jurisdictions prosecute more cases or less?

                  Are their conviction rates higher or lower for similar cases?

                  How often do you think date-rape or drunk-rape gets prosecuted in the civilian world versus the military?

                  How many breast grabs and other wrongful sexual contacts do you think get prosecuted in the civilian world versus the military?

                  I think the answers aren't necessary anti-military.

        •  Not very realistic... (0+ / 0-)

          Dumping the entire military justice system for sexual assaults is not only unrealistic, it would likely be harmful to the soldiers that we are trying to protect.

          As an example, a sexual assault that occurs in Afghanistan would not be prosecuted effectively (if at all) in the Afghan civilian court system, which has a record of blaming the victim for her own assault. Even in the USA, some civilian courts too often do the same thing.

          “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” - Anais Nin

          by legendmn on Thu May 16, 2013 at 08:08:39 AM PDT

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